Culture Culture

22/08/2022 - 06:54

Online antique market

The online antique market, much like the real world, is diverse, with items ranging from common to high-value. Sellers can sell things they own; buyers can also request or place an order for specific items they desire. By that way, the antique market is a bustling world.

Antiques sold on social networks

Residents of Hue are no strangers to these virtual markets. “Buying and selling in this style is veryconvenient. Deals can be made just by sitting in one place,” said Nguyen Trung, a young antique trader in Hue, but did not forget to caution that one should always be cautious and alert.

One simple mouse click can lead you directly to websites and forums on antiques. There are even closed and public groups on social networks with the participation of thousands of members, from North to South. Among them are many experienced people from Hue or interested young people.

While browsing through these “markets” of antiques, it is easy to be overwhelmed with the number of items posted by sellers, followed by comments and discussion before the deal is closed. On these websites, you can find a wide range of items, from pottery to woodwork to bronzes… in a variety of patterns, textures and sizes from various eras.

These forums, like the others, have a clear rule: “Posts irrelevant to antiquities are prohibited." Nguyen Trung, who has been participating in groups like this for more than a year, said that his initial intention was simply to learn, but he eventually exchanged, purchased and sold a few items.

"I mostly sell Hue antiques like potteries and wooden furniture. This method of buying and selling is very convenient. It only takes a few photos, private messages, and quick actions." Trung stated, but also added that experience is required; otherwise, you will be an easy target for scammers. 

After several successful transactions, even though he had not yet been scammed, Trung said he had met flakers. “People would check and place orders. I’d carefully pack them, send them through a courier company, and ask them to collect the money for me. However, once the items arrived, the buyers were no longer contactable. They effaced their Facebook Messenger and turn off their phones,”said Trung. In such cases, the sender, such as Trung, must bear the cost of shipping, as well as the artifact is at risk of being damaged or broken during the transportation process.

Buying and selling antiques on the internet is inevitable, according to experienced antique dealers, as businesses eventually adapt to online platforms for their items. However, this is a special category of goods, in which both the seller and the buyer must be experienced and knowledgeable. Otherwise, it will be very easy to lose money unfairly.

“Most of the antiques for sale here are of moderate value. Items of high value must be traded in person and carefully inspected up close. The only scenario in which people can trade with confidence is between reputable members of the community,” said Tran Huu, an antique collector.

According to Huu, the price of common antiques online is merely a few million dongs. Ceramics, porcelain, and bronzes are the most traded items. “Not only is it cheap, but the item must also meet requirements for being unique to easily attract customers," Huu explained.

From another perspective, in addition to buying and selling, this is also a platform for many people to share, exchange and learn from their peers’ experiences in antique collecting, and, in the process, gain more relevant knowledge such as history, art, etc.

Story and photo: Nhat Minh